February 6, 2019 - 72 Hour Urban Action - Open call: 72 Hour Urban Action Lobeda
e-flux Architecture
February 6, 2019
February 6, 2019

72 Hour Urban Action

Open call: 72 Hour Urban Action Lobeda.

Open call: 72 Hour Urban Action Lobeda
A real time Architecture Competition in Germany’s biggest tower block district

Application deadline: February 17, 2019, 11:59pm

72 Hour Urban Action Lobeda: May 2–5, 10 Teams, 10 Mission, 72 Hours to design and build projects in public space.

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In 2019, the seventh edition of 72 Hour Urban Action—the world’s only real-time architecture competition—is coming to Lobeda, Jena in Germany. This unique edition is sited in a district which challenges the legacies of two essential historical moments—namely the design legacy of the Bauhaus and the domineering socialist legacy of the GDR. Questions surrounding modernist values systems and their architectural manifestations and legacies become potent during the centennial year of the Bauhaus. Over the years Lobeda has gained a certain kind of reputation around the image of the tower-blocks, as seen from cars passing by on the autobahn—these tower blocks, identified with cheap and fast housing solutions for the masses, exemplify the values of that time: egalitarianism, functionality and efficiency. Dark memories of the GDR haunt these blocks, casting judgments over their architecture. But the blocks have outlived the regime and today are in dire need to re-examine their potential for shared living. These forms of housing arrived in cold-war East Germany from a more admired origin: These are dreams of modern architecture, a global architecture, as developed, honed and perfected by the Bauhaus in the beginning of the 20th century, and underlie Lobeda’s urbanism till today. 72 Hour Urban Action Lobeda invites participants to rethink these topics by acting in the public spaces of the large scale tower blocks and provide new spatial interpretations to questions which are always urgent—how do we want to live together? How do we relate to our environments? Who is involved in the making of our society?

72 Hour Urban Action Lobeda brings together 120 participants in ten international teams. Teams receive their site and mission on launch day, with only three days and nights to design and build 1:1 scale installations in public space in response to local needs. Teams travel to Lobeda on their own provision and stay in a central fabrication camp, working together with locals at all hours towards the collective creation of new forms of public spaces. Each team is provided with a production budget, expert support, access to work tools and materials, and full accommodation as they compete against each other and against the ticking clock! An international jury will visit the installations on the last day of the competition to select the winning team, and a public award will be granted separately.

72 Hour Urban Action provides for an alternative, collective method to making public space. 72 Hour Urban Action is a contemporary tool for testing designs in public space. This tool, taking the form of a design festival, has travelled to different communities since 2010, working with local partners and resident from the bottom up and in a hands on manner. 72HUA exposes local needs and offers a fast alternative to planning processes by joining experts and amateurs to work on a local scale, in micro sites—those neglected pockets of urban potential that are too small to officially develop, too big for residents to ignore.

Application is now open for individuals, or small groups of up to six people, of every discipline, background, age or nationality. More details on the website: 72hoururbanaction.de/en/open-call/

72 Hour Urban Action is co-directed by Architect Kerem Halbrecht and curator Gilly Karjevsky. In Lobeda West the festival is co-created by Architecture Studio Umschichten and Communication designer Markus Nießner (niessnerdesign). 72 Hour Urban Action Lobeda is organised by JenaKultur in multilateral cooperation with the city of Jena and numerous local partners and supporters.


For general inquiries: info [​at​] 72hoururbanaction.de
For questions about the open call: apply@72hoururbanaction.de
For press inquiries: pr@72hoururbanaction.de

72 Hour Urban Action
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